News Archive

Ph.D. Final Examination: Dr. Aaqib Peerzada

The REAPER lab congratulates Dr. Aaqib Peerzada for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation, related to modelling and statistical methods for distributed energy resource into the electrical power grid. Dr. Peerzada was an affiliate of the REAPERlab and was in-residence at both the TAMU College Station and TAMU Qatar locations. His relevant research focused on power quality at the grid edge and the impact of a D-STATCOM on the operation of the power distribution systems. His Ph.D. adviser and committee chair is Dr. Miroslav Begovic and Dr. Balog served as his co-adviser.

Dr. Peerzada received the B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar India, in 2011 and the M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX USA in 2018.

The REAPER lab congratulates undergraduate students Ms. Maria Khan and Ms. Swati Singh on the publication of their Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) thesis.

The REAPERlab congratulates undergraduate students Ms. Maria Khan and Ms. Swati Singh on the publication of their Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) undergraduate honors research thesis entitled “I-V Curve Tracer Communication Protocol.”

Their research pertains to experimentally measuring the current vs. voltage characteristic curve of photovoltaic cells, modules, or even arrays. They developed a communication protocol for an i-v curve tracer and addressed the challenge of a scalable, low latency communication between the Pi-Arduino-Relay interface by significantly reducing the packet size of the transmitted data and eliminating the need for bloated and slow IoT platforms.

Their thesis can be found at the following URL: https://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/196546

Welcome Dr. İBRAHİM GÜNEŞ

The REAPER lab welcomes Dr. İBRAHİM GÜNEŞ as a Visiting Scholar (Post Doctoral Fellow). Dr. GÜNEŞ received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Istanbul University in 1999, 2005, and 2010 respectively. Currently he is an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Istanbul University – Cerrahpaşa in Istanbul, Turkiye, where he has been a faculty member since 2001. He was an Adjunct Faculty in Arizona State University, 2007-2008, performing research on insulation materials in high voltage applications.

His current research interests include power electronics for renewable energy systems including photovoltaic systems, energy efficiency applications, economics of energy, power generations transmission and distribution, high voltage techniques, mechanics of power transmission lines, energy management, finite element methods (FEM).

Dr. Robert Balog presents two research papers at the 3rd International Conference on Photovoltaic Science and Technology, Ankara, TÜRKIYE

Dr. Robert S. Balog presented two research papers co-authored with Ms. Nabila Elbeheiry and Ms. Sajida Yazjeen at the 3rd International Conference on Photovoltaic Science and Technology (PVCON) in Ankara, TÜRKIYE on July 5 -7, 2022.

The paper entitled “Sensor Nodes in Smart Agriculture: Methodological Review” explored the state of the art in smart agriculture while the paper entitled “Open-Platform Sensor Node for PV Powered Smart Agriculture” presented resent results from building our own smart sensor node for use in smart agrivoltaic applications

These publications were made possible by grant # AICC02-0505-190022 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Dr. Robert Balog presents two research papers at the 10th International Conference on Smart Grid, Istanbul, TÜRKIYE

Dr. Robert S. Balog presented two research papers co-authored with Dr. Wesam Rohouma, Ph.D. student Mr. Aaqib Ahmad Peerzada, and Dr. Miroslav M. Begovic at the 10th International Conference on Smart Grid in Istanbul, TÜRKIYE on June 27 – 29, 2022. The papers, available through the IEEE Explorer, are entitled “Capacitor-less D-STATCOM for Voltage Profile Improvement in Distribution Network with High PV Penetration” and “Use of D-STATCOM for Solid State LED Lamp Harmonic Power Mitigation.”

In these papers, results are presented showing the performance of a distribution static synchronous compensator (D-STATCOM) for use in a low voltage distribution network to provide the necessary voltage support under high penetration of photovoltaic energy systems (PV) and compensation of harmonic power introduced under high penetration of solid-state lighting such as light-emitting diodes (LED). The D-STATCOM technology is based on a matrix converter (MC) topology using model predictive control (MPC). It is capable of long service life since it uses inductive energy storage instead of the traditional electrolytic capacitor and was shown to improve the overall system reliability.

These publications were made possible by NPRP grant # 13S-0213-200357 from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

The REAPER lab congratulates undergraduate students Ms. Leen Al Homoud, Mr. Safin Bayes, and Mr. Rinith Reghunath on the publication of their Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) thesis.

The REAPERlab congratulates undergraduate students Ms. Leen Al Homoud, Mr. Safin Bayes, and Mr. Rinith Reghunath on the publication of their Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) undergraduate honors research thesis entitled “Cyber-Physical Defense in Smart Distribution Networks.”

The their research pertains to cyber-physical security for electrical power distribution systems by applying machine learning techniques to identify authenticated but malicious control commands. Such a scenario may exist if an attacker gains access to the control systems so that they appear to be authenticated, spoofing as a bona fide agent in the system. Such an attack vector would be undetectable with traditional cyber-security authentication methods. Their thesis can be found at the following URL: https://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/195462

Ms. Al Homoud is currently pursuing her MSEE degree at Texas A&M University under the supervision of Dr. Katherine Davis. Mr. Bayes is currently pursing his MASc degree at McMaster University.

The REAPER lab congratulates Dr. Minjeong Kim for graduating with her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University

Dr. Minjeong Kim received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering during the commencement Ceremony on December 11, 2021 in College Station, Tx. Her dissertation entitled “Commutation Methods for SCR-Based Square-Wave Link Inverter” studied commutation and control methods for silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) based square-wave link inverters. She developed a unified approach for the family of converters consisting of both current-sourced and voltage-sourced, single-phase and three-phase, and passive-load and grid-connected inverters.

Dr. Kim received her B.Sc. from Yonsei University in Seoul, S. Korea, in 2014 and the M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX USA.

Leen Al Homoud presents a research paper at the 53rd North American Power Symposium (NAPS 2021)

Graduate student Ms. Leen Al Homoud presented a research paper entitled “Cyber-Physical Defense in Smart Distribution Networks” at the 53rd North American Power Symposium (NAPS 2021). Much of the existing literature has focused on mitigating data attacks resulting in nontechnical losses, false state estimation, and inaccurate load forecasting. However, cyber-physical security also needs to ensure that no grid operations are allowed that impact the physical operation of the system. For example, a malicious agent successfully hacks through the cyber security defenses of the grid, spoofs as a bona fide agent, and issues control commands that cause a voltage regulator to change tap position. While the actuation may not be severe enough to cause immediate damage to the system, it may causes accelerate wear-out of system components.

Along with her fellow authors Mr. Rinith Reghunath, Mr. Safin Bayes, Ph.D. student Aaqib Peerzada, Professor Katherine Davis and Professor Robert Balog, the paper investigated machine learning techniques that would detect anomalies in the control commands of an electrical power distribution system.

Ph.D. Final Examination: Dr. Minjeong Kim

REAPER Lab congratulates Dr. Minjeong Kim for successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation, “Commutation Methods for SCR-Based Square-Wave Link Inverter.” Her research investigated commutation and control methods for silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) based square-wave link inverters. She developed a unified approach for the family of converters consisting of both current-sourced and voltage-sourced, single-phase and three-phase, and passive-load and grid-connected inverters.

Dr. Kim received her B.Sc. from Yonsei University in Seoul, S. Korea, in 2014 and the M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University at College Station, TX USA. 

Dr. Balog gives an IEEE PELS Distinguished Lecture as part of the “Power August Seminar Series” of the IEEE Taipei Section joint PELS/PES/IES Chapter.

As part of the IEEE Power Electronics Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor Balog, REAPERlab Director, gave a distinguished lecture on August 11, 2021 entitled “A Smart PV Roof Tile and Non-Planar Photovoltaic Systems” to the IEEE Taipei Section PELS/PES/IES joint chapter.

With the latest advances in photovoltaic material science technology, solar cells can now be curved, conformal coated, and even painted onto arbitrary surface geometries. This facilitates a paradigm shift from the traditional, building-applied, rigid planar modules to non-planar, structurally-integrated photovoltaic systems. PV arrays on curved surfaces enable new concepts for PV applications but also present new challenges for balance-of-system components, electrical interconnections, and power conditioning electronics. Non-uniform insolation across the PV surface complicates maximum power point tracking, which is well-known for planar PV but more complicated when the non-planar morphology inherently introduce the partial shading and thermal variations. Yet, these non-planar surfaces offer opportunities to increase energy harvest and shape the time-of-day generation profile, all while creating an architecturally appealing – even invisible – energy system. This talk will include results from a recent research project which investigated a smart solar roof tile in the form-factor of the traditional terracotta roof tile.

Dr. Balog thanks Prof. Dr. Katherine Kim of National Taiwan University for the invitation to present.

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